Saturday, September 13, 2014

News, Etc.

Obituary: Songwriter Bob Crewe, 83, remembered for his work with the sixties vocal group The Four Seasons, died Thursday. He had never recovered since suffering from a fall sometime ago.

He was responsible for many of their hits including "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man," and perhaps their best recording, "Rag Doll."

Nearly a decade later he wrote, with Kenny Nolan, “Lady Marmalade,” recorded by Labelle. Propelled by its provocative and irresistible chorus in French, “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir,” it rose to No. 1 in 1974. Nearly three decades later, a new version of the song featuring Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Pink and Mya, featured in the movie “Moulin Rouge,” was also a No. 1 hit.

But it was in his work with the Four Seasons and the striking falsetto of Mr. Valli that Mr. Crewe established himself as a master purveyor of pop sentimentality. In less than 10 years he helped make the group one of the best known in the history of popular music.

The group had been struggling to find a hit and a record label in the early 1960s when Mr. Crewe, who had worked with Mr. Valli in the past, decided to take a chance on them. In 1962 he produced their first No. 1 hit, “Sherry,” written by the group’s keyboardist, Bob Gaudio, and he soon began helping write songs for them.

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